After Accident Near School, a Volunteer Crossing Guard Program

Supervised, orderly crossing at Belle & Cordilleras

San Carlos may be the City of Good Living, but there’s one thing it doesn’t have: paid school crossing guards.

Today, the Brittan Acres Crossing Guard program officially got underway, with trained volunteer parents stationed at the busy intersection of Cordilleras and Belle.*

So far, 19 parents have signed up and organizers say they need more parents and members of the community to volunteer.

The program is the result of a September 15th traffic accident in which a driver struck a parent crossing with his bicycle at the intersection of Brittan Avenue and Cordilleras. While the parent escaped with bruises, a ten-year old girl received minor injuries after stepping out into traffic at Cedar and Arroyo near Central Middle School. Police say the driver was not at fault in the September 22nd incident. (For more info, click here)

Program organizer Paula Ebejer-Moffitt, a parent of two sons at Brittan, says she also worries about the number of near-misses she’s seen around the school. “Once we were walking, three moms and five kids, and this driver was in a hurry and came through the crosswalk and almost hit one of the kids,” Ebejer-Moffit said.

Also coordinating the Brittan Acres’ crossing guards is Beth Robertson, who trained as a crossing guard at her children’s previous school in Colorado, in a program funded by a $17,000 grant from the National Center for Safe Routes to School and Colorado Dept. of Transportation.  “We picked our house in San Carlos for its walkability,” she said of the White Oaks neighborhood.

“When I got here, I asked…why are there no crossing guards?” said Robertson, who moved to California in July.

Compared to her old community in Superior, Colorado, Robertson noted San Carlos has a lot more cars on the road and more vehicles parked along the street which hinders visibility and adds to the congestion. “I was also surprised more kids don’t walk to school,” she said, explaining she’s a firm believer in the benefits of walking to school.

The organizers hope the volunteer program will not only make walking to school safer for children and parents, but also make driving to school easier and less frustrating.

If more people make the one-hour a month commitment, crossing guards can be added to the intersections at Brittan and Cordilleras and at Arroyo and Cordilleras.

Robertson, who also has a student at Central, says a volunteer crossing guard program is “in its infancy” at the middle school, but locations, staffing and training will be discussed in the next month.

Heather Elementary already has a parent volunteer crossing guard program in place.

According to RCSD Communications Director Naomi Hunter, Redwood City pays for 12 guards while the Redwood City Elementary School District covers the cost of six. “None have been cut,” Hunter said.

In Belmont, the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District pays for four crossing guards in Belmont while Redwood City pays for two in Redwood Shores. That’s according to Nellie Hungerford, Asst. Superintendent Business Services & Operations at BRSSD.

This summer in Foster City, the City Council there reversed its decision to cut funding for a school crossing guard for the next fiscal year, changing their minds after parents protested. Long-term funding is still uncertain.

To volunteer for the Brittan Acres Crossing Guard program contact (a response is promised w/in 24-hours):

Paula Ebejer-Moffitt

Beth Robertson

*Corrected to Cordilleras and Belle 4pm


Filed Under: Column 1San Carlos News


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